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GLORIOUS GOODWOOD DAY 2 TIPS – DAWN APPROACH CAN THWART TORONADO AGAIN IN SUSSEX STAKES CLASH
Day two of Glorious Goodwood will be glorious regardless of the weather, as come rain or shine racegoers will be in their element, particularly at around 3.05 when DAWN APPROACH and Toronado go head-to-head in the Qipco Sussex Stakes.
Despite both blotting their copybooks somewhat prior to Royal Ascot, that duo proved without question that they are top milers in the St James’s Palace Stakes, fighting out a thrilling finish with Dawn Approach prevailing by the narrowest of margins.
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Jim Bolger’s stable star, so impressive when landing the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, was bitterly disappointing when trailing in last of 12 in the Derby the following month. To bounce back in the fashion that he did just 17 days later at Royal Ascot speaks volumes about his constitution.
Toronado’s effort in the Guineas could hardly be described as bitterly disappointing, but he looked so good when winning the Craven Stakes that it was rather deflating to see him beaten 7½ lengths into fourth in the first colts’ Classic. But, like Dawn Approach, he showed his true colours in the St James’s Palace.
Though the presence of Declaration of War, winner of the Queen Anne at the royal meeting prior to finishing runner-up in the Eclipse, ensures that the Sussex Stakes on paper is not a two-horse race, let’s not kid ourselves – it’s all about Dawn Approach and Toronado.
The St James’s Palace was a pretty rough race and, in all truth, Toronado probably came off worse than Dawn Approach in terms of the barging match that ensued two furlongs out. However, you had to admire the sheer determination displayed by the latter and I am confident that he will come out on top once again.
The opening race on Wednesday, UBS Goodwood Stakes, is run over a gruelling trip of 2m 5f and it will become a real war of attrition if there is further rain. But while stamina is of obvious importance, a low draw will also be an asset in a field of this side, despite the marathon trip, and BROXBOURNE, who has a peach of a berth in stall two, looks the one to be on.
Though she is reappearing just five days after landing a 2m handicap at Ascot, she was given a three-month break prior to that outing so ought to be able to cope with two races in quick succession, and she’s a step ahead of the assessor with just a 3lb penalty to carry here.
Indeed, Mark Johnston’s charge scored in decisive fashion at that Berkshire venue on Friday, beating Homeric by 3½ lengths. It was only a six-runner affair but it was a select field and while the filly has yet to race over a trip father than 2m ½f, she shapes as though she will relish a proper test of stamina.
Leading jumps trainer Nicky Henderson does well in this type of event and he fields two credible contenders in Courtesy Call and Lieutenant Miller. The latter proved that he possesses stamina aplenty when runner-up in the Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting last month and, emerging from stall one, he rates the main danger.
The Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes is a tricky contest – only one of the seven runners, Spillway, can be ruled out with any great confidence – but I reckon the two to focus on are Excess Knowledge and SECRET NUMBER, both of whom shape as though the step up to 1½m will be ideal.
Excess Knowledge ran a fine race when third in a Listed contest on his belated reappearance at Sandown earlier this month and isn’t passed over lightly. However, the Godolphin horse really caught my eye when fourth in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and he earns the vote.
Cap O’Rushes is the form pick based on his effort in the Irish Derby, but he lacks the scope for improvement that some of his rivals possess, while Elkaayed doesn’t look to me as though he’s exactly screaming out for a step up to this trip.
Channel 4’s coverage of the second day concludes with the Veuve Clicqout Vintage Stakes and Parbold, who was runner-up in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, looks the one to beat with the step up to 7f expected to be right up his street.
Toormore, meanwhile, has to be accorded plenty of respect, as he looked a smart prospect when landing a Leicester maiden on debut and his trainer, Richard Hannon, has landed the last three renewals of this Group 2 contest.
However, I recommend taking them both on with LANARK who did the job well in a conditions race when upped to this trip at Newbury last time and this tough colt will take some pegging back round here.
2.30 Secret Number
3.05 Dawn Approach